Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Morality 1: Subjectivity and Objectivity

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Consciousness is subjectivity. Subjectivity is not objectivity. Since physics is objective, consciousness is not physics.

Existence: interaction. If something exists, I must be able to learn that it exists. Exists is a verb: things that exist exist in some manner, which we call their properties. To learn that something exists it is necessary to learn in what manner it exists.
Objective: epistemically available to the third person. This has symmetry: if it is available to one third person, it will be available to all third persons, at least in principle.
Subjective: epistemically available to the first person. This is exclusive with being objective, as I'll show.


Let's cleave the sight of a red ball at its joints.

There's a red ball. The ball scatters photons, which enter the eye, which excites the retina, which sends a signal, which is processed by the visual cortex, which results in the red ball qualia.

There is the idea the visual cortex and the red ball qualia have to be identical, but this is epiphenomenalism. As per Turing, the exact implementation of the cortex is not relevant: silicon, myelin, vacuum tubes, gears and levers, it doesn't matter.


1. These all produce the same qualia.
2. These produce slightly different qualia.
3. These produce no qualia at all - I am somehow mistaken.

The motivation for 2) is to maintain the identity, so as to reconcile consciousness with physicalism. However, this results in epiphenomenalism, and thus still refutes physicalism. If the cortex is fully objective, we can remove all supposedly-subjective features from it without loss of predictive validity, as per Ockham, and thus we have proven they don't exist, as in 3). Thus 2) is either not meaningfully different from 3) or you must accept epiphenomenalism, which is magic.

Epiphenomenalism is self-contradictory.
1. By definition, the epiphenomenal agent cannot causally affect the brain, only the reverse. (Newton's generalized third violation).
2. The epiphenomenal mind does not exist, as far as the brain is concerned - it is not epistemically available.
The mind cannot teach the brain about epiphenomenalism.
3. The brain cannot learn epiphenomenalism. It can only refute it. Further, it will only occur to the brain at all due to noise - consider all the ideas you have not bothered to analyze because they're not true. The brain sees no explanandum.
4. A epiphenomenal mind cannot speak to other minds about its existence.
4. In contradiction, epiphenomalism is popular and seen to explain something. "Recently, epiphenomenalism has gained popularity with those struggling to reconcile non-reductive physicalism and mental causation."

(Ed: I'm trying the numbers thing but I'm skeptical that it in fact improves clarity.)

Conclusion: if you have a mind, not just a brain, if you have a thought at any moment, it disproves physicalism. On request I can also show that all forms of dualism reduce to either physicalist monism or full on Cartesian substance dualism.

Let's look at this from another angle.

Thoughts are subjective by identity.

Imagine a beautiful vista, such as a mountain during sunrise.
That you think this image is beautiful is what causes you to think it is beautiful. Identities are tautological; try to imagine a beautiful image that is ugly. Try to imagine a red ball that is a blue cube. This means you cannot be mistaken about thinking the image is beautiful. The Cogito generalizes; not only can you not be mistaken about your existence, you cannot be mistaken about the manner of your existence.

The subjective existence is not only available to the first person, but necessarily known by the first person.

This means you have a subjective existence.
If this existence is merely privileged access to some parts of physical, objective reality, then epiphenomeanlism obtains.
If a thing can be learned about subjectively by one observer and objectively by all other observers, it can also be learned about objectively by the one observer. This means the subjective is unnecessary to fully predict/explain the behaviour of the thing, which means it is causally impotent, which means it is an epiphenomenon. The subject would be unable to tell other observers about its privileged access, only the objective brain, which would have to learn about itself by the usual objective methods, would be able to communicate.

(Let me disprove epiphenomenalism by demonstration: I have subjective thoughts, about which I cannot be mistaken by identity. You're welcome to believe I am lying, if you wish.)

In contradiction, the objective is never necessarily known by the third person; what you think about an objective entity is not identical to that entity. The subjective is fully disjoint with the objective, epistemically speaking. As per my definition of existence, they must also be disjoint in existence.

(Speculation: time evolution allows a subjective event/existence to diamorph into an objective one and vice versa, just as it allows one particle to transform into another. Deep speculation: where the quantum interaction falls on the probability space is determined by a mind, which causes a thought to diamorph into a past physical event. It is a true decision.)

Consciousness, qualia, is the subjective. What 'green' is, rather than what is it caused by or correlated with, is the thought that looks green, that is green because you think it is green.

At present it is impossible to definitively solve the other-minds problem. However, using this framework, it becomes an empirical question. Consciousness is nonelemental, it has internal causation and thus the mind has internal structure, which will affect the statistical distribution of the behaviour of physical objects it is causally linked to. (Speculation: a usefully testable mind could be built out of silicon for something on the order $30 000.)
However, it is possible to solve the self-mind issue, using intentionality. If you have a thought, then cause a portion of physical reality to mimic it, as the thought mimics physics. If you succeed, then...

Monday, August 17, 2015

Re: Re: Steel Anarchism


"It may be a good idea to lock your door when you go out, but if you don’t, Rothbardianism will not excuse the man who stole your television set."
Security has to be provided by some person, who will decide what is and is not secured. I imagine a firm because it's more coherent in the wave-interference sense, but the analysis holds for individuals if you keep the feedbacks in mind.
Meta-Rothbardianism: whether it will excuse the thief or not depends on what the security-provider has decided to define as theft. What is excusable or not is defined by prior contract, which is in turn defined by what is prudent to so define.

 "How do you make sure that your defense organization doesn’t loot your property?"
You don't, to first order approximation. That's what primary property owner means.
Consider the feedback: if it were not likely they would do so, it will rapidly become known and you won't sign up with them in the first place.

Further, it would be wise to insist on a clause where the security firm secures propaganda supporting the norm of being a good agent.

"The danger with both of these options is that they can be turned against you."
Nirvana fallacy. It doesn't have to be a good idea, it just has to be better than kratism. 

"If Jim can defend himself or can switch providers, you might well find yourself in a pickle."
He will successfully stiff you on one bill. Henceforth, he will have no security agency, having forfeited his contract, and will only be able to trade with other outlaws. Okay, if he really thinks stiffing you on that one bill is worth it...

"If the criterion for ownership of a resource is the ability to defend it, why would anyone submit to arbitration?"
As a secondary property owner, what counts as a reasonable level of defence will be defined in the security contract. Arbitration is then used for edge cases. For example perhaps there's a revolver deductable, where you're not necessarily expected to walk around armed, but you are if you need to travel into Harlem. As a neighbourhood gentrifies, an arbitrator might find that it was reasonable to wander around unarmed, and thus deserve legal remedies if victimized.

"in which Alrenous’s rule that it’s yours if and only if you can defend it holds sway; we’ve already got one: the real world. The one with states all over it.

 How did we get states where we should have gotten anarchy?"
If they ever claim to hold something by right of being able to hold it, they will stop being able to hold it. This is one of the facets of the core reason states keep killing themselves and everyone nearby.

Moral legitimacy is a very important force for security and stability. States as they are now cannot be stable as their moral arguments are self-refuting, as can be seen during the frequent contradictions between what they claim to secure on behalf of their subjects and what they in fact secure on behalf of themselves.

All political formulae but one are lies, and thus at constant war with reality. The one left is Exit.

Dark Lockean aside: Exit is the only coherent political formula. Exit is unsustainable and hardly even possible. You're all just fucked.

"Indeed, the Melians found to their sorrow that in the real world “the strong do what they can, and the weak suffer what they must.”"
Weapon technology and communication technology. As weapon technology improves it becomes cheaper and cheaper to inflict more damage on an attacker than they can possibly gain. As communication technology improves, it becomes harder to hide the irrationality of such losses, or for independent foolishness to arise.

If, to kill a phalanx, you need a phalanx of equal size or bigger, then yes this kind of dynamic ensues. If instead you can lob a few bombs at Athens from the comfort of your living room, destroying more than your lifetime earnings with each one, the proposition is far less feasible.
Further, as per Sun Tzu, it was never a good idea to attack in this way, because 1984 has never obtained. Whenever you weaken yourself against one opponent, your rivals gain by comparison, of which there's always been more than two. A war between A and B should always go to bystander, C. This didn't happen basically because this foolishness was repeated so often that eventually one of them got lucky, though the Byzantines spent 800 years or so profiting from exactly this foolishness, without engaging in it themselves.

Nowadays everyone knows instantly whenever one country or another makes a mistake. The feedback makes for great learning.

Also modern weapons make it much harder for someone to declare war and live to brag about it. Or live to run away, even. Puts a damper on enthusiasms for using other people's money to kill strangers.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Game Theorist Fail - Prisoner Dilemma Incomplete

In my experience, you will critically underrate how profound this point is. Unfortunately, as an author I have no idea how to rectify this impression, because as a reader I've never experienced such a rectification.

Game theorists are remarkably bad at game theory. This isn't merely small world fallacies, this is thinking they're done and just not being done.

So, regarding the prisoner's dilemma, (page 47 on my pdf reader)
"The "paradox" is now the following: as soon as the number of rounds N becomes known, the above reasoning completely collapses!  For clearly, neither player can have anything to lose by defecting in the very last round, when the other player no longer has any chance to retaliate. So if both players are rational, then that is exactly what they will do. But if both players know that both of them will defect in round N, then neither one has anything to lose by defecting in round N - 1 either."
"In 1985, Neyman [99] proposed an ingenious resolution of this paradox. Specifically, he showedthat if the two players have sufficiently small memories"
No. Well, yes, that is true, and humans clearly have finite memories.

The defection strategy is irrational even if the players have infinite memory and are perfectly rational.

If Player One defects on the last step, there is indeed no reason not to defect on every step. Defecting on only the last step isn't an option. The available options are: defect on every step, cooperate on every step. Player One would prefer to cooperate on every step. Ergo, Player One concludes they can't defect on the last step. The only question is whether Player Two is going to conclude they need to defect on every step or cooperate on every step. By definition Player Two would prefer to cooperate. By definition, Player Two knows that Player One knows that Player Two knows the only other stable strategy is defecting on every step.

Player Two will cooperate in every step. Somebody please tell me I'm wrong, that some obscure game theorist has figured this out, not just me. 

"But in real life...!" Yes, perfectly rational perfect information agents don't exist in real life, I know. However, when adding/superposing the imperfections of real life, it is critical to perturb the real ideal, rather than a misunderstanding of the ideal.

Admittedly the feedbacks are a bit mind-bending. Perfect rationality lets you eliminate the feedbacks, though.

Playing a twenty step-game, One and Two get to step 19, having cooperated all the way. The past, now immutable, shouldn't affect their next choice - one can defect.

Zeroth problem, (Yudkowsky is correct here) to get it out of the way: if Player One  concludes they can defect, they know, as Player Two is just as good at game theory as One is, that Player Two will also defect. Again, deviation isn't a real option, only MAD, so they cooperate.

First problem: in the past, Player One knew that, if they cooperated for 19 steps, they will want to defect on the last one. Thus Player One knows that Player Two knows that if they cooperate for 19 steps, Player One will want to defect on the last one. If Player Two knows Player One will defect on step 20, Player Two will defect on every step, thus making it impossible to cooperate for the first 19 steps.

In short, Player Two knows everything Player One is thinking, and vice-versa. In all cases, betrayal is not an option. Thus, they will always choose to cooperate.

Real life relevance: higher IQ people commit less crime (objective) and generally deviate less (less objective, but the same dynamic). This is at least partly because higher IQ people more closely approximate perfectly rational agents. They, as Player One, know (or think, because they assume the other guy has the same IQ) that Player Two will realize it if they plan to deviate.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Non-Ancap Fails to Pretend to be Ancap

1 comment:
Which is a good thing, really. The adult can successfully pretend to be a child but the child can't pretend to be an adult. If anyone succeeded at pretending, it would reveal the immaturity of Ancap thought.

repeatedly asserts that ancaps believe things which no competent ancap believes. 

But then people start rebuilding the old state institutions: the people living in Auburn form a corporation called “the City of Auburn,”
Yes, probably.
and it is located within territory controlled by another corporation—“the state of Alabama”
No, not likely.
So why did we bother abolishing the state?
But the point of ancap is we don't know. The point is to ask Gnon what he thinks about Alabama. Would Alabama reform, were it necessary to convince Alabamans to join it? Is Alabama in fact a net gain, or a net cost, to the residents of Alabama?
If Alabama costs the residents without giving them much in return, what's the point? Who is being served by Alabama's existence?
Let’s suppose that the preppers didn’t swear an oath, or at least didn’t make their kids do it when they grew up.
"Let's suppose Ancapistan isn't Ancapistan. What follows?" It follows that I don't care? "Let's imagine Catholicism with no Pope."  Okay, but like half the point is to have a Pope.
Does reliance on tacit consent transform the Free Town of Ancapistan into the People’s Republic of Prepperville?
We can suppose Catholics would believe exactly what they believe right now if they had no Pope. It's certainly a possible outcome. It's unlikely.
We don't know how a town would evolve if, to impose its norms on someone, they had to first agree to allow those norms to be imposed. This is one reason no good Ancap advocates freeing an entire nation at once. We believe it would be better, but we also believe there are an endless variety of kinks to be worked out.

Is the divide between state and non-state merely that in one you raise your right hand and say some words when you turn 18?
Yes. And why is that? It is because not everyone will say the words.
the choice of swearing the same oath as the founders or being exiled from the community.
this may be the consequence, or not. The market is smarter than me, it may come up with a better solution. I consider it overwhelmingly likely that someone will think of a better way of doing this. The Amish have to since their culture is so different, even tiny amount of outside contact with former insiders is likely to significantly change them for the worse. With less drastic differences, full ostracism may not be necessary.

Consider foreign university students. Their tuition isn't subsidized and thus they have to pay the government's share too. This makes it 3-4 times as expensive, but it does not prevent them from coming.

In Ancapistan, an outlaw is responsible for their own security and contract enforcement. This is expensive, but not impossible. Certainly many may refuse to deal with them, as the risks outweigh the costs. This doesn't mean they have to be forcibly booted from the town, though that is within the town baron's rights.

The upside of allowing outlaws to stay is it's much easier to convert them. Further, it allows close contact with Gnon's discipline. A bad town will accumulate many outlaws, creating pressure to reform, or, in the worst case, a competing co-geographical municipality.

Ancapistan and Nozickville each control a certain territory by dint of original appropriation, but this isn’t all the land they use.
"What if Ancapistan and Nozickville are bad at anarchy?" Well, then they learn better or suffer Gnon's wrath.

Property is obtained through securing it. If they use resources they have not secured, then they need to be prepared for it to be secured by someone else and thus lose the use of it.
Fortunately, the Ancapistanis and Nozickvillers reach an agreement on hunting rights, stipulating that the forest will be reserved for hunting, that hunters from both towns will be permitted to hunt there, and that the number of deer each town may hunt will be limited in order to maintain the deer population.
Directly contrary to Ancap principles. Collective ownership don't real. This is like two neighbours, instead of agreeing on a single property line, decide to set up a neutral zone they can both use to a limited degree. I dunno about you, but I'm seeing more conflict arise, not less. Why even bother with the complexity? Half the forest is Nozick's, half is Capistan's.

Tragedy of the commons: it is in each town's benefit to hunt as much of the limit as possible before the other town can.
This sounds like a fine exemplum
As above, it isn't.
Now an anarcho-capitalist would here claim that the two parties would not go to war but instead seek arbitration by a third party.
Secure your property. Don't whine if someone uses unsecured resources you wanted. If someone assaults your security, it is an act of war and you're entitled to defend yourself.
Arbitration might be cheaper, but war is more certain.
Peace is not kind of cheaper, like a different brand of soap. Peace is hundreds of times cheaper.  At 100:1, arbitration can be 99% certain to end unfavourably and you still break even.
Further, because of free Exit, if you try going to war over something stupid like that, your soldiers are likely to Exit rather than actually fight for you. Arbitration is looking hardly more certain.

As we're no longer in a democracy, human relationships might actually exist. It isn't just dollar and cents - the mayor/baron is going to personally know some of his soldiers. "Do I want to risk Frank's life over some trees?" Indeed the mayor/baron is going to have to know some of them personally, or he won't be able to get any loyalty - they won't fight for him even for good reasons.

If you can't get slaves to fight for you, fighting happens way less and nobody even contemplates total war.

On the other side, Rothbardia is going to be thinking the same thing. Judges and courts first arose in England from this exact process. The judges had no power, except Gnon's power to mete out punishments to anyone stupid enough to put the issue to the test of arms. Courts thrived, as we can see.
The only other defense by the anarcho-capitalist would be to say that Rothbardia is in the right—property rights cannot be established merely by convention but only by original appropriation
You know, I don't even know what 'original appropriation' means exactly.
While we can hope Ancap ideas about aggression could hold moral authority and thus skew the field of arms, we cannot rely on it. History shows only hard-nosed rationality is stable. You secure your property not because it gives you some moral authority to use it (though it does) but because 'securing' means 'make it unreasonably expensive to take it from you.'
Convention-based property rights are extremely useful for managing resources that are consumed when they are appropriated.
You own the deer that you kill through original appropriation, but you only own the wild herd through convention.
Fuck convention, get security.
That said, certain conventions indeed make it more expensive, and thus count as a weak kind of security. As household neighbours we build fences because they work better than convention. It only becomes more important at town-scale.
Fetishizing consent is a distraction.

You obtain fifty dollars from me.
I consented: it was a trade or gift.
I did not consent: it was theft, and I'll be asking for that back, using a glock.

Consent is critical. Consent is one of the foundational pillars of civilization. To ignore consent is to ignore property, which is to undermine order. Without order there will be nothing worth considering the consent status of.

Ancap is perhaps simply the realizing that if consent matters in petty issues between individuals, it only matters more and more as the conflicts get bigger and more significant.
either it must accept that its own system can produce conflicts in which both parties have justification or it must deny the validity of convention-based property rights.
If convention counts as security, then no. If not, then of course one rightly ignores convention.
The state is not the only social evil, nor is it always and invariably the worst social evil.
Gnon knows that many social evils are indirectly caused by the state. Perhaps half? I would like to ask him which ones, exactly.

One of the major ones is religious coercion. When the state supports a religion, it corrupts both. Every religion supported by a state has died or is dying. Every state that forced a religion to support it has become a progressive-style theocracy.

The thirty year's war taught people like Dawkins to say 'religion causes war.' Dawkins is an idiot outside biology.
Because children adopt whatever religion is put to them, when the state controls religion, opposing religions face annihilation and will fight commensurately. It is accepting the false legitimacy of religious coercion that causes such total wars.
Though, as always, secure your religion. Don't expect moral legitimacy to do all the work.
 An anarcho-capitalist believes that if the proper forms are filled out and filed correctly, all solvable social problems will solve themselves.
Other way around. The proper forms, in the sense of formalities, are defined by the state of society in which all solvable social problems are solved.
The road from anarcho-capitalism to neoreaction is paved with the realization that the Cathedral and Leftist entryism are even graver threats than the state.
Without a coercive state there is nothing for the Cathedral to seize, nothing for the Leftist to enter. This is one of those problems that Ancapistan doesn't even need to solve, the transition makes it go away on its own.

You may notice that entryist'ed organizations tend to die on the vine. Most recently reddit almost died from such a takeover attempt. It is only with a state, which can force the customers to stay, that entryism is viable.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Facts have Challenge Ratings

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Alexander neglects the challenge rating of facts. Every issue has a CR which your general epistemic competence g is checked against. If g >> CR, you get the correct answer. (Some caveats.) The opinion of a low g-rating mind on a high-CR question is determined by tribe and chance. Obvs if there's a tribal signal to display they'll display it, otherwise it's random.

Scales are arbitrary but I pegged journalists at 1-2 which puts Moldbug's g rating around 90. Don't confuse it with a percentage, I'm aiming for 120. I would also peg Scott Alexander's but he lies too much, I can't be arsed to work out which of his beliefs are sincere and which he's just pretending to not know.

1. Five Thirty Eight is down the night before an election, so you search for some other good sites that interpret the polls. You find two. Both seem to be by amateurs, but both are well-designed and professional-looking and talk intelligently about things like sampling bias and such. The first site says the Blue Party will win by 5%; the second site says the Green Party will win by 5%. You look up the authors of the two sites, and find that the guy who wrote the first is a Young Earth Creationist. Do you have any opinion on who is going to win the election?
In general it depends on the relative CR ratings, which I don't know off hand.  Even if Creationism in fact has a low CR rating, this is not evidence the Green Party site knows what it's talking about; what Alexander thinks is 'talking intelligently about sampling bias' can and is usually learned by rote, and thus useless. They will have to show their work, in which case I can evaluate their work directly.

Creationism is red tribe, not blue, so it may be a declaration against interest, which gives a bonus to g estimate.
2. On the bus one day, you sit next to a strange man who mumbles about how Bigfoot caused 9-11 and the Ark of the Covenant is buried underneath EPCOT Center. You dismiss him and never see him again. A year later, you see on TV that new evidence confirms Bigfoot caused 9-11. Should you head to Florida and start digging?
Depends on the cost. It doesn't lower the probability but it doesn't raise it much either. If you were going to Florida with backhoes anyway...well, why not? If you're a regular person, no. People who mumble in public are showing ignorance of social rules, which has a very low CR. (Do I want fractional CR or do I want it logarithmic?) It is most likely caused by the fact that strange things remind you of other strange things, and thus when you think of solutions to strange thing A), strange thing B) is in the availability bias slot.

There's also the very likely case that the TV is mistaken; as above, journalists are lucky if they breach g level 2.

There is a very small probability that they're ignoring social rules because they have atypical values, and thus aren't being irrational. Never personally observed a real specimen, but they should theoretically exist.
3. Schmoeism and Anti-Schmoeism are two complicated and mutually exclusive economic theories that you don’t understand at all, but you know the economics profession is split about 50-50 between them. In 2005, a survey finds that 66% of Schmoeist economists and 33% of anti-Schmoeist economists believe in pre-Clovis settlement of the New World (p = 0.01). In 2015, new archaeological finds convincingly establish that such settlement existed. How strongly (if at all) do you now favor one theory over the other?
Given the past performance of economists-who-make-mainstream-news-so-that-we-know-there's-a-controversy, most likely they're both wrong anyway.

But neglecting that (obviously higher-than-SA's-g-rating-CR) fact, without understanding Schmoeism to a reasonable degree you won't know its CR. If Schmoeism's CR is lower than Clovis, then it is evidence for Schmoeism roughly to the same ratio the CR is lower. If CR is 0 then Schmoeism is all but guaranteed; if it's 1-2 points lower, then there's no evidence either way; and if it's 20 or more points the wrong side is 75% likely all shills.

If Shmoeism's CR is significantly higher than Clovis they don't even understand the question, and it might be unreasonable to assume they're arguing about it.
4. As with 3, but instead of merely being the pre-Clovis settlement of America, the survey asked about ten controversial questions in archaeology, anthropology, and historical scholarship, and the Schmoeists did significantly better than the anti-Schmoeists on 9 of them.
With more questions, the odds that one of them has high CR is better.
Of course real scholars go and look when they can, rather than trying to hack weird probabilities. If Clovis' CR is reasonably high - which is the only way a real scholar wouldn't already know the answer - then the odds that any of them have high-enough CR is still negligible.


The fact that facts have a challenge rating is probably a high CR fact. Estimate 105 +/- 25.

The only person I've ever noticed to buck the CR trend is Elizer Yudkowsky, who bucks it in both directions, so I'm not sure what to make of it.

The CR of religion is well above 120. Most likely 150-200 region, but could easily be 300 or higher.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Piketty Asserts the Logical Impossible

There are many ways in which Piketty is wrong. However, it seems nobody has noticed it is logically impossible for his primary empirical assertion to be correct. (There is no true a priori statements, but given that, I think the term can be re-purposed for things like this.)

As per the above link, GDP growth is asserted to be, rounded, 1% and return on capital is 5%. If this were true, non-capital forms of income would see decline, and hit zero quite quickly due to exponential compounding.

Say 50% of GDP is return on capital and 50% is other forms of income. Say GDP grows 1% and capital return is 5%, so capital amounts to 1000% of GDP. Let's just call it $1000 because why not. So GDP year 0 is $100.

Next year capital is $1050. GDP is $101. Capital return is still 5%, so $52.50. Call it 53.
Income is now $48. Capital is now $1103

GDP $102.01. Again I'll drop the cents from income and capital - $47 and $1158

GDP is $103.03 Income - $45 Capital - $1216

$104.06 || $43 || $1277

$105.10 || $41 || $1341

Etc. After only five years, income is now down nearly 20%. If population has grown, most would be dramatically poorer. In fact, everyone has been getting richer. Eventually income will hit zero, and capital returns will begin tanking. Though of course income = zero means everyone starves and the economy collapses entirely long before that.

Obviously this is slower if return on capital is a lower portion of total GDP, but it is logically impossible that return on ALL capital could be more than GDP growth for hundreds of years. If he hasn't fudged his numbers, all he's proven is that GDP is a worthless measure.

(Indeed it's slightly worse than this - if any of that income isn't spent, it becomes capital and reduces future income even further.)

So at 50%, non-capital income sees 3.3% decline.
Let's say capital is only 10%. $200.
$101 || $90.5 || $220.5

Income sees 0.6% growth in the first year. Capital is still, by definition, seeing 5%. Within decades non-capital income will stagnate. By year 10 it's already down to 0.3%. Imagine your final, year-65 retirement wage being less than 15% higher than your first job.

This non-capital decay only doesn't happen if capital is an utterly negligible part of the economy.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Unproductive Moral Fisking

1 comment:
This will learn me to stop clicking SSC links.

The consistently one attempts to adhere to an ideology, the more one's sanity becomes a series of unprincipled exceptions.

Neon Hillism: keep the exception and sacrifice the principle. It's not necessary to understand what you're doing all the time. If you can work out a new principle that doesn't fail, great. Otherwise, Accept your Ignorance. Hasn't failed on me yet.

In reality it’s pretty hard to come up with way of valuing animals that makes this work.

If by 'hard' you mean 'super easy.'
In fact animals have zero moral value. I still want them to not suffer, though. This value isn't in any way different from my value of not dying or finding ice cream tasty. The market will (eventually) provide an efficient balance of animal-not-suffering to ice cream once it is allowed to do so. That's what it's for. Just don't forget that animal suffering only has valence through the dire apes who care about it, which means it matters exactly to the extent the dire apes care about it.

But going from “just my community” to “also foreigners” is a difficult step that’s kind of at the heart of the effective altruism movement.

I have worked out what's wrong with this. It's basically statistical unsophistication. Not all cars are worthy transport, and it correlates weakly with firm and country of origin. Simlarly, not all people are worthy of concern, and it correlates weakly with ancestry and country of origin. Turns out this test is also super easy: will they show you reciprocal concern? If so, then be nice. If not, fuck 'em.

allowing starving Third World people into the circle of concern totally pushes out most First World charities like art museums and school music programs and holiday food drives. This is a scary discovery and most people shy away from it.

Which is fine, because it's wrong.
Letting die is not murder. My paragraph above is about who it's wrong to murder, e.g, not animals.
Who it's wrong to let die: anyone you've promised to not let die. Starving third-worlders can no more legitimately demand resources for free than anyone else. They claim they're starving? Fine, I claim to be a utility monster. "That's not reasonable!" Oh, we're using common sense now? (Special pleading.)
Further, as frequently demonstrated, first-worlders are quite willing to trade for resources on very favourable terms for the third-worlder. This would simply not be an issue if state coercion were not involved.

It is Gnon's judgement that third worlders will starve until they stop driving full tilt into starvation situations. Coercive first world aid cannot revoke Gnon's judgement, which is half the teleological reason it only ends up destroying local textile manufacturing, enriching revolting tyrants, and causing the AIDS plague.

No kind of free aid can revoke Gnon's judgement. Trade, however, can, though the intricacies of how this works are beyond the scope here. Though it's also relevant that if you were starving, no third-worlder would help you, even if they easily could.

I’d lend it to him, but I wouldn’t give him exactly half my money no-strings-attached on the grounds that he is exactly as important to me as I am.

Because you can't trust your brother as much as yourself. If he would likewise give you half his money, then there would be no need to keep separate bank account at all, as he would weigh his values exactly as heavily as yours. He won't, though, out of ignorance at least as much as out of selfishness and hypocrisy. This kind of principle only gives advantage to anyone claiming to be a utility monster.
Which I guess is fine. The utility monsters eat all the insane moral-signallers, then I hunt the utility monster, and sanity returns.

We can argue about what 'should' happen in this case as long as we like, but it won't change what will happen, which is Gnon will harshly judge anyone who treats the selfish as unselfish. The action symmetry is empirically not there.

my friends. We all raised a lot of money to help Multi

In case anyone thinks SSC is truly a symmetric, disinterested moralist, Multi has explicitly called for my death in particular. They are not banned from SSC, whereas I'm maybe one indiscretion away from being banned. Benefit of the doubt: not deserved.

I suppose, though, this is SSC insulting Multi and complimenting people like me. They are not a threat, no matter how vile their rhetoric. I am a threat, no matter how polite mine is. (It still encourages the vile.)

well, I know myself better than I know my brother, and I know Multi better than I know strangers, so I’m more effective

Compare to two quotes up, and remember the cowpox of doubt.

I don’t think I can make a principled defense of doing this. But I think I can claim I’m being unprincipled in a meta-consistent and effectively sanity-protecting way.

Turns out insane beliefs are sanity-destroying if you try to take them seriously. Who knew.
I dunno. If I found out one of my beliefs was paying 'rent' in the form of attacking my sanity, I would question its rationality. I mean, this is kind of an obvious reaction, right?